FOREIGN MONEY WELCOME
Local firms keen to invest as Zimbabwe opens its doors
Zimbabwe’s vast mineral wealth, especially its lithium deposits, have foreign investors beating a path to Harare
There could finally be a sliver of hope for foreign companies in the post-Robert Mugabe era in Zimbabwe, particularly for South African companies, which stuck it out during the country’s darkest of times. Mugabe often used threats of seizure and the closure of operations to have his way with foreign companies. In 2012, mining company Impala Platinum was issued with a 14-day ultimatum to comply with Zimbabwe’s 51% indigenisation law or risk losing its mining licence. David Brown, the then Impala CEO, had to lead a team of executives to Harare from Johannesburg in an effort to stave off the threat facing its subsidiary, Zimplats. "The problem with Brown is that he talks too much… I don’t need to meet them….. Why are they coming to see me? I am not a zoo," Saviour Kasukuwere, the indigenisation minister said, as he refused to meet Impala’s executives. That episode highlighted the perpetual hazards South African companies have often found themselves in as they do business in Zimbabwe. T...